Felony in the U.S. can be classified as any criminal offense that is punishable by death or imprisonment of more than one year. A person with a felony conviction on their record may have difficulty obtaining a passport, as the U.S. State Department has the authority to deny passports to applicants with certain types of criminal convictions.
This is because convicted criminals are often seen as a security risk. However, it is not impossible. Here, we will discuss obtaining a passport if you are a felon. We will answer some questions that people have about this topic.
What Felonies Affect Your Ability to Get a U.S. Passport?
1) International Drug Trafficking
If you have been convicted of international drug trafficking, the U.S. Department of State will deny your application for a passport. This is in line with the policy of many other countries, which also refuse passports to individuals with drug trafficking convictions.
2) Distribution of Drugs
Under federal law 22 U.S.C. 2714, it is a felony to distribute drugs. This includes selling, manufacturing, and transporting drugs. If you have been convicted of distributing drugs, you will not be able to get a U.S. passport. Other felonies can affect your ability to get a U.S. passport. These include sex crimes, terrorism, and espionage.
Read more: 6 Main Reasons for Passport Denial.
What Documents Are Required for a Passport?
If you have been convicted of a felony, you may still be able to obtain a United States passport. To do so, you must provide specific documentation to the passport office. These documents include:
- A certified copy of your court records showing that you have been convicted of a felony
- A certified copy of your pardon, probation, or other release papers
- A letter from your probation officer or other authorities indicating that you are allowed to travel outside of the United States
If you can provide these documents, you will likely be able to obtain a United States passport. However, it is essential to note that each case is different, and the passport office may require additional documentation. It is always best to contact the passport office directly to inquire about your specific situation.
Getting Back Confiscated Passports
Confiscated passports will not be returned even if the owner’s criminal record is later deleted. The applicant must prove that they have been rehabilitated to get a new passport. The U.S. Department of State requires felons to submit proof of rehabilitation to obtain a passport.
There are three common ways to show rehabilitation:
- A complete pardon from the jurisdiction where the conviction occurred
- A certified copy of the court order showing that the applicant’s civil rights have been restored
- A certified copy of the court order showing that the applicant’s probation, parole, or supervised release has expired or been terminated.
What Are the Requirements for a Passport Photo?
A passport photo is a photograph, usually two inches square, used on your passport application. The requirements for a passport photo are that it must be:
- Taken within the last six months
- Of your entire face, front view, with a neutral expression
- Taken in front of a white or off-white background
- Taken in full color
- Sized so that your head (top of hair to bottom of your chin) is between one and three-quarters of an inch and one half inches
- Taken in a well-lit area
- Printed on photo-quality paper
Passport Express is an Atlanta passport agency. We specialize in expedited passport services. Our experts can help you obtain your passport in as little as 24 hours.